Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Sur la Plage (Complete)

This is posted at JB's miniburger, but hell It took me ages to get it together so i'm posting it here. To those who don't now in John Birminghams "Without Warning" a mysterious energy wave wipes out most of the CONUS. France falls into civil war and it is there this story takes place....

Sur la Plage
Part 1: Insertion

April 2003

The camouflaged AS532 Cougar scudded low over the acid rain bleached fields bordering the Loire estuary. Nantes smoke blackened skyline faded into the springs early dusk. Normally at this time of year the evening would be warm and long. Now the ever present thick poisonous cloud cover cast an overbearing pall over the countryside.

Carl rested his head against the throbbing fuselage of the chopper, thinking of the team’s recent foray into the no-mans land of Nantes. The forces of First Citizen Sarkozy and ‘les Loyalistes’ had battled over the strategic (and historic city) for over a fortnight now with no real gain on either side. Increasingly his R.A.I.D. team (Groupe D’Intervention Deux) had found themselves pitted against a team from the Gendarmerie Nationals’ elite GIGN. The last clash on the route leading to the now ruined airport, had left the team short of two men. One of whom was the team leader Lieutenant Gerard Juppé. Lt Gerard had died in the field hospital whilst the team were receiving their latest mission briefing and it fell to Carl as Le Chef to see things through.

Checking over the team he could see Philippe, the baby of the team (at only 28) looking at a dog-eared photo of his wife. She had been on holiday with her parents when the world was turned on it’s head and the USA had effectively ceased to exist. He noticed Philippe gently touch the image of his wife’s face before placing the picture in his black BDU’s and start re-checking his gear. Philippe along with the other dead team member Christoff were the team’s scouts and this would put added pressure on the young man to perform.

Seated next to Philippe, Alan and Jules the teams’ designated snipers were also checking their gear and trying to talk over the sound of the rotors. Alain the older of the two probably still trying to convince Jules of the advantages of marriage, well after all he was in the throws of the end of his second. Considering all the shot going on in the world Carl thought that Alan would be better of trying to stay with Claudette especially as her family owned a farm outside of Limoges.

Andre and Alexander the two heavy weapon specialists sat opposite each other. Andre was asleep and Alex was throwing little rolled up pieces of paper into the sleepers lap. This was quite genteel compared with the usual level of practical jokes the two played not only on each other but on the other members of the team.

Across from Carl, Charles the lanky Parisian from the 16th was listening to his iPod, arguably the teams best pistol shot he was also a classical pianist by training and to this day Carl could not understand why Charles had joined the Police National. Next to him sat Simon the team’s entry specialist who leant across towards Carl.

“Chef, couldn’t they have just got the air force to run a strike?”

“Apparently not, it seems that they can’t guarantee a strike package to be around. The Atlantique that’s shadowing the boat is out of antiship weapons. So we’ve got to make sure no-one jumps ship.” Replied Carl

“Do you think that’s why those bastards from Satory have gone there to welcome however is on the ship, ashore? Couldn’t they have got a tank group to help out?”

“Simon, there’s no-one else around” said Carl with a small sigh “It’s just us, but we won’t fail eh?”

‘Oui Chef, server sans faillir” said Simon.

The sound of the units’ motto broke into the reverie of the others and they all chanted

“Oui Chef! Server sans Faillir!”

The chant broke through the crust of scar tissue that the weeks of combat and the loss of their team leader had built up. For the first time in over a fortnight Carl could see something more than resigned fate in their eyes.

The intercom buzzed and the internal lights turned red.

Carl stood up

“Okay my friends, we are five minutes out. Get your gear in final readiness. Remember if these are the same team that cost us the lieutenant and Christoff, we don’t need any baggage”

“Oui Chef” roared back the team as they got to making their final checks.

The next few minutes flew by and the chopper made a number of direction changes to confuse any watchers on the ground. It finally flared out landing softly next to the small parc at the junction of Ave du Baulois and Chenin du pont Saillant. The team disembarked quickly and the chopper quickly departed. Once the rotor washed had lessened the team formed a elongated diamond pattern whilst Philippe cleared the way onto the railway line.

The cloud cover meant that the evening was dark and brooding with little in the way of birdsong or insect noises that you would associated with this coastal region. Only the lease and rear team members equipped their PNVG’s as there was still enough light to march to. So slowly and carefully the team made their way down the track to La Baule.

The march seemed to take for ever even though at 10kms it would take just only a couple of hours. Even in the darkness the damage caused by the wave of pollution carried by the jet stream form the United States was clear. Trees that should now be covered in bright leaves were barren husks. The grass should have been dark but were almost a pale imitation so pale in fact that it almost glowed in the darkness. As the team silently passed by the Parc des Dryades it looked like a scene from Bergman’s “Seventh Seal”

Suddenly heavy gunfire could be heard to the north, causing the team the freeze and fade into the background as best they could. The odd roar of a cannon (whether artillery or form a tank it was uncertain) counter pointed the rattle of smaller calibre weaponry.

Alan whispered in Carls ear
“Regular army?”
Carl shoke his head
“It sounds like it’s coming from Guérande, I think there were reports of some deserters from l‘Armee de Terre holed up there, so maybe they’ve been assaulted by the GN armoured units. Anyway it’s nothing to do with us let’s move on”

He carefully made his way over to Philippe.
“Philippe, be extra cautious, if there are deserters in the area it will make our job harder” he whispered
“Oui Chef” replied the young agent, Carl patted him on the shoulder and the team restarted their march into the town.

It was close to 22:00 hrs by the time the men came close to the railway station, a cold wind was coming off the Atlantic rushing down the town’s streets cooling the men’s now sweaty BDU’s making them even more uncomfortable. Alexander was half turning to keep his Minimi SPW trained on the upper floor of the four storey house across the tracks when there was a flat crack and there was a spray of arterial blood as a high velocity bullet ripped out his through.

As the tall southerner dropped to his knees a raged fusillade of gun fire started to rain in on the team. As far as Carl and his mean could tell all the shots were coming form the station. The RAID team returned fire as best they could from what was a lower and quite poor position. Coming in was mainly FAMAS gun fire with some 9mm rounds and a few 7.62 shots that could have been coming from a semi automatic rifle due to rapidity of the shots. The outgoing fire was placed in short bursts with the team relying on their night vision gear to maintain accuracy.

The team had quickly dropped to the sides of the rail line trying to make themselves as inconspicuous as possible amongst the straggly weeds and the usual detritus you find on railway lines everywhere. Alan and Jules managed to get themselves behind a pile of concrete sleepers and started to unship their rifles.

Carl understood that they had to keep the pressure on whoever was ambushing them and he waved forward his mean suddenly realising that that marked him out just as many of the shots suddenly seemed to be coming his way!

Charles, Philippe and Simon used that change in priorities to make a flanking manoeuvre to the left and the carpark fence (which was pretty wrecked). Philippe and Simon got through and easily merged with the burnt out car wrecks that dotted the car park. Charles however was obviously seen just as he tried to get through, and a hail of automatic fire reached towards him. It was not a good time to get caught on the fencing, and sensing that he was done for, Charles flipped his G36 onto full auto and emptied the assault rifles magazine towards the stations windows just as two streams of FAMAS fire caught him. The hail of bullets slammed him against the wire fencing entangling him further, leaving him to flap weakly as his blood pooled around him.

By now Jules and Alan had unshipped their rifles and .50 and .338 sniper fire was accurately targeting their opposition resulting in a dramatic falling off of incoming fire. Relived that he was no longer the centre of attention Carl realised that he had no idea where all his men were or what some of them were doing. Cursing he switched on his comms gear.
“…careful he’s looking out..he’s gone.. move to by the fire hose”
“Got it, I’m here, I’ve got the whole front covered you can move up”
Recognising Philippe and Simons voices
“Boy’s what going on?”
“Chef keep you voice down!” replied Simon “Your worse than my mother!”
There was a chuckle Philippe answered
“We’re at the front boss getting ready to breach. Looks like three of them left.”
Before carl could command them to hold
“Okay we’re both here, breaching now the bastard’s will pay”
Two frag grenade blasts roared out form the ground floor of the station, the flashes almost overriding the gain controls of the teams PNVG’s
There were three more bursts of automatic fire then silence.
Philippe’s voice came over the comms.
“All clear come on in”

Cautiously the remaining members of the team entered into the station. Necver the prettiest of buildings la Baule’s station was now a semi ruin embellished with the ruinous effect of modern firearms. The ticket hall stank of blood, shit and cordite. The small café and station offices were in similar poor condition. It did not take long to police the site and without being ordered the two snipers had taken positions to cover the area. The dead quickly gave up their secrets and it seemed that their attackers had been deserters. They recovered 3 FAMAS, a MP5, an old MAT SMG and two MAS-49’s which should have been in a museum.

The rest of the team gathered together in the station office.
“Right this is not good, we’ve lost Charles and Alexander to these losers, but we’ve got to push on to the deployment site. It’s only a couple of hundred meters down the Avenue De Lattre De Tassigny.”
He paused awaiting the expected response which came from Simon
“Can’t we just request evac?”
“Simon you know the answer better than I do, no evac for at least another 6 houses, I want you and Philippe to collect and ammo we can use and head to the DP. Andre and I will secure Charles and Alexander’s bodies. Alan will go with you and Philippe to secure the DP. Jules can supply Andre and I with overwatch then we’ll come to the DP.”
Carl let out a short hollow laugh.
“Before I forget again keep you’re comms on we’ll use channel 7, let move so we can get some rest before the next data dump.”

The first half of the team took only 10 minutes to get ready and then they were off moving down the road to the Hotel des Dunes. It took Carl and Andre longer to find a storeroom that they could secure place the corpses of their dead comrades plus the weapons recovered form the deserters, and then booby trap the place. Then shouldering Charles’ G36, and Alexanders LMG as well as their spare ammo, Carl Andre and Jules slowly made their way down the Avenue De Lattre De Tassigny passing in front of the Hotel Marini whose white faced was now severely blackened from the fire which had wrecked it.

The DP was quickly set up in the 2nd floor of the Hotel des Dunes and they were only 30 minutes behind schedule. The data dump from their HQ at Bievres came in 25 minutes later.

To be continued……

Part 2 La Plage

The recent unrest had left some parts of the hotel curiously unscarred. The ground floor had been fairly well ransacked as had the first floor rooms. But the upper floors (except for some graffiti and odd bits of mindless vandalism) had been left pretty much intact.

Jules took a position on the upper floor and Alan took occupancy of the top floor of a small apartment building about 50 meters back up towards the railway station to give the team a full field of fire. That building had been pretty well gutted but the fire escape to the rear allowed the agile sniper easy access to the roof terrace.

Meanwhile the team secured their floor with a few surprises whilst Andre groused about their equipment levels
“I can’t believe we’ve barely got enough explosives to cover this place. What happens if we needs this gear later on?”
Simon just laughed
“we’ll get Philippe to run back and get it, the youngster needs to burn off his energy!”
This drew a few laughs from the others as they had suffered Philippe’s helpful comments about doing more exercise!

Carl had set up his hardened laptop and satellite phone and on the appointed time an encrypted burst of info was downloaded. The download seemed to take forever despite the high bandwidth of the link. Once it was finished Carl sent back an acknowledgement. Once he had gone through the information eh called the team together and opened a comms link to the two snipers
“Gentlemen, Obviously our situation has got worse due to the problems with our insertion but our orders are clear, we have to continue the mission, but there’s a bit of good news.”
He paused and adjusted the laptops screen so that the men in front of him could see what was there.
“Our supposed friends at the DRM have managed to pass over to us some TI pictures taken by a drone half an hour ago, as you can see from the images it seems that our friends are currently in two groups, one is by one of the beach restaurants, near to the beach club near the end of Avenue de la Concorde, the other group is at the entrance of the casino. The analysts believe that they have holed up there. Note however one hotspot on the roof of the casino. I think we can take that as written that they have a sniper there. The reduced image would suggest he’s using broad spectrum camouflage gear.”
Pressing the remote control a few times Carl brought up a map of the town.
“Our plan is as follows. At 01:00 well deploy into two teams, team one will be myself, Philippe, and Simon the second team will of course be made up of Jules, Alan and Andre. My team will ingress to the beach via Avenue Olivier Guichard. The other team will proceed to the beachfront via the Avenue de Général de Gaulle. This route should give us sufficient distance to observe without being too close.”
Carl paused and took a sip of water form his canteen.
“My team will hold at Place des Escholiers. The second team is to gain access to the apartment buildings on the corner of Avenue de Général de Gaulle and Boulevard Hennecart, Jules and Andre I want you take position on the second floor, Jules this will give you a good angle to disrupt any boats that come from the freighter. Alan you’ll need to get to the roof so you can get a good shot at their sniper. Once he’s gone then you can also act against either the beach group, any reinforcements from the casino and also any action form the boats. Questions?”
The two snipers and Andre answered in the negative at the same time, well almost..
“Non Chef”

“Good” continued Carl “My team will then move back and utilise les Allées des Tamaeris et Mouettes to get closer to the beach site and hold just inside Allée des Sylphes. Now Andres I want you to get into one of the apartments in the building on the corner of Allée des Sylphes and Boulevard Darlu and hold there as you should have a good view of what’s happening on the beach. The professors at BRGE say they can give me a direct data link to the Atlantique so we’ll get a feed from their FLIR cameras. As soon as we see what the freighter is doing, Alan on my order you take out the sniper. Andre you soften up the beach site using the M203. My team will cross over the boulevard and assault the beach site. Andre I want you to stop using the M203 as soon as we hit the sea wall understand?”

“Oui chef’ came the reply.

‘Excellent, now if this is a supply or reinforcement run we’ll have multiple boats to deal with so we must be prepared to deal with a larger number of OPFOR. If this happens then my team will exfil back to the market place via the cathedral. Well need team two to supply covering fire until the OPFOR have secured the beach and then you’re to rendezvous with us in the marketplace, from the we’ll return here.”

‘What then Chef?” asked Simon

“We’ll make it up as we go along!” replied Carl with a smile.

“However” he continued “this might be a supply drop and so I’d expect Alan to dispose of any boats with that cannon of his. Hopefully it will be simple and the beach site will be secured quickly. Assuming that happens Simon, Philippe and myself will police the site. Andre I want you to secure the roof of the building you will be in so as to provide an overwatch site for Alan. Obviously Alan I need you there, Jules and Andre will rendezvous with us in Allée des Sylphes.”

Carl click the remote control a few more times bringing up some basic diagrams of the casino.

“From there we’ll move to take out the remnants in the casino. I’ve been advised that the Atlantique will be able to stay on station and provide constant surveillance which is good news so we’ll know well in advance if anyone else comes to crash the party. Once we’ve cleaned up then we retrieve our fallen comrades and await our exfil. Any further questions?”

Philippe brought up a question that no-one was prepared for
“What are our rules of engagement for civilians Chef?”

Carl hesitated

“The same as in Nantes. Assume all contacts to be hostile, even here we can’t assume anything look at what happened at the station!”

Alan and Jules both started muttering and Carl turned on them
“I’m sorry if you gentlemen are upset about this but I’m not losing anyone else tonight! Understand?”

“Yes Chef” replied Jules clearly not happy about the situation
“..errr yes Chef” said Alan obviously still preoccupied with the announcement.
Carl continued “… radio chatter to be kept to a minimum during infil just give me a brief burst on the mic when you reach position. When we’re in postion I’ll give you verbal ok to engage. Clear?’

He got nods all round.

“Right” continued Carl “make sure you are all ready to go and well commence infil at 01:00.”

With the briefing clearly over the team members checked and double checked their gear. 1am seemed to rush forward as it seemed the briefing was barely over before the men had to quietly break up the camp as best they could. Andre was the last out having set a few surprises in case anyone else tried to access the site. Alan and Jules then made their way down from their hideaways. All the men then engaged their PNVG’s and the two teams split up.

The sniper team made their way down what was once a road filled with nice restaurants and chic boutiques that were frequented by Paris’ émigrés when they visited during the holiday seasons. Both Alan and Jules had their secondary weapons ready as their rifles were too bulky to be carried any distance in this environment. Both Jules Glock 18 and Alan’s B&T MP9 had suppressors in place as did Andre’s M4A1 although how long they would remain practical in a firefight was questionable. Many of the shop windows were broken, looking like demonic mouths filled with jagged teeth in the green glow of the teams night vision goggles. Occasionally a dead body could be seen, these corpses were now just bones held together by ragged cloth as the local vermin and dog population had feasted on them long ago.
Alan shook his head at the way the town had been ruined in the vicious civil war, although he could understand that this once lovely seaside town was simply a microcosm of the ruined Fifth Republic.

A block away, Carl’s team carefully moved down a tree lined road with various homes to either side. Again the vagaries of the civil war meant that some were burnt out shells whilst others looked completely intact. The one pervasive element was silence, no sound could be heard except the odd sound of cannon fire coming from the north and the sound of the sea a few hundred meters distant.

Even with both teams taking care and moving as quietly as possible it did not take too much time for them to reach their respective waypoints. Carl’s team hunkered down in the shame of a hedge and Carl sent his ‘in position’ burst of radio to Jules. Then all they could do was keep watch and wait.

Alan, Andre and Jules finally reached their target a large apartment building that faced straight onto the sea. There were shops on the ground floor facing to the beach and a walled garden and underground car park to the rear. Switching on their IR lights the trio slowly made their way down the ramp into the car park. The ramp was partially blocked by two Mercedes SLK’s which had tried to leave at the same time. But these vehicles really caused no interruption to their decent. Jules noticed in passing that the driver of one had been clearly shot in the head a couple of times. Whether it was in revenge for the crash or sheer spitefulness, he could only guess.

It took the men a few minutes to find the emergency stairs, which ‘fortunately’ had been wedged open. Using extreme care the trio ascended the stairs and too their trip to the top of the building found nearly half a dozen booby traps. All were pretty basic but every one could kill or maim. The sniper team made a quick decision to disarm all except the bottom trap. Alan took the lead up the stairs ever mindful of either more traps or a surprise visit from the person who laid the ones they’d found.

As the apartment building was only 6 stories tall it was not long until the three men reached the roof exit. This had been padlocked shut so there was a further delay as Jules picked the lock. All the men were conscious of how time was passing so Alan quickly changed into his Ghillie suite, one specially designed for urban environments and which also had an integrated thermal damping system. As soon as Alan was finished the team installed a claymore mine adjacent to the doorway, once outside Alan would plant another to ensure he got no unwanted visitors.

Once the first claymore was planted Alan got down on his stomach as Alan very slowly opened the fire door, as son as it was wide enough Jules slithered out on his stomach as Jules again carefully closed the door. Jules and Andre then moved down one flight of stairs before activating the first claymore. The two men then moved down to the fifth floor and jimmied open the fire door leading to the hallway. This passage way had two doors and a lift.
“Left or right?” whispered Andre
Jules just shrugged, both doors looked similar, both had three locks that would take time to pick and both looked solid. He rummaged around in his BDU’s pockets and came up with a doctors stethoscope, as quietly as he could he used the stethoscope to listen at both doors, hearing nothing he shook his head. Replacing the ‘scopes he found an old 20 centieme piece and flipped it


“Heads” replied Andre suddenly realising that they had done this over a dozen times now with the same 30year old coin over the last few years.

Jules caught the coin and slapped it on his left hand peering closely through his PNVG’s “heads it is, your choice”

Andre swore softly “errr right!”

The hard decision made, Jules checked the doorframe for alarm connections and finding none, he started to quietly pick the three deadbolts. The apartment beyond was quite smart and well furnished. Andre secured the door whilst Jules quickly swept the apartment for inhabitants finding none, the two men checked out the windows of the lounge and found to their horror that behind the curtains were security screens.

‘Fuck, fuck, fuck” swore Andre “what do we do now?”

“Calm down,” replied Jules, “it’s easy we slowly open the blinds by about 30 or 40 cm’s even if they’re looking directly at this building it’ll be very hard to notice”

“What even through a scope?”

“So do you want to tell the Chef that we have to delay the attack?” asked Jules rhetorically, before moving to the two sets of casement windows, opening them as slowly as possible, then he slowly tested the right hand screen. Thankfully it seemed that whoever owned the apartment looked after all of the it, not just the obvious ones. So it took little effort to open the screens and secure them.

Meanwhile up on the roof, Alan had placed his claymore and had moved across the roof to a point which would allow him a view of both the Casino and the beach. Next he laid down a thin bedding roll and then it was the turn of his heavy McMillan snipers rifle to come out of its casing opening up it’s bipod and then installing the night sight. All this was done without Alan raising his profile to his hopefully unaware opponent over at the casino.

Once he was finished setting up his site, Alan settled in and zero’d in on the opposing sniper. The GIGN sniper was right where the UAV’s recce shot had placed him, just over a kilometre away on a lower level. Like any good sniper Alan took note of anything that indicated air movement between him and his target. After making some basic mental calculations regarding bullet drop he was ready and pressed his ‘mission ready’ button on his comms gear.

Down below in their apartment Jules and Andre now had a clear view of their targets. The GIGN team had since the UAV’s recce run set up a forward base in one of the restaurants on the beach leaving only a couple of their team on the beach. To guide in the incoming boat or boats they had placed a number of IR light strobes on the beach in an arrow formation showing the best ingress route onto the beach. Also just visible a few miles out to sea the freighter that was the cause of this rendezvous could be seen. This force relocation changed things considerably especially as it was clear that the freighter was nearly at a point to offload whatever cargo it had stored.

Andre laid out two Thermobaric grenades and then an additional two HEDP. At the same time Jules radioed Carl.

“Chef Rapide 2, we have a problem OPFOR have moved most of their forces into Building C on the beach, repeat Building C on the beach. Freighter is almost at anchorage. Instructions over”

Back at Carl’s holding position the news was not welcome.
“Roger that Rapide 2. Hold 5, repeat hold 5. Rapide Prime out”

Jules wondered what the Chef would do but he hit the ‘mission ready’ button on his comms gear anyway.

Taking out his lap top Carl quickly called up the datalink with the patrolling Atlantique. Once he was logged in, he then opened up a comlink with the mission controller on the MPA.

“Mouette 6, this is Rapide Prime do you read, over?”
“Copy that Rapide Prime we read you at five, over”
“Any change on Mission 1 over”
“Mission 1 has slowed to three knots and it looks like it is about drop anchor, Rapide Prime, over”
‘Copy that Mouette 6, any change for force application? over?”
“Negative Rapide Prime, but may have small gift for Mission 1, over”
Carl didn’t know what the guy was talking about but the lack of any CAS or arty support meant that they were still going to have to strike the hard way.
“Rapide Prime this is Mouette 6, you might want to check our FLIR feed, over”
Carl looked at the laptop screen and the cool black surface of the freighter was filling with lighter bodies, lots of them.
“Copy that Mouette 6, please advise as soon as Mission 1 drops anchor we will strike two minutes after. Rapide Prime out”
“Copy that Rapide Prime, bon chance mes amis, Mouette 6 out”
Carl closed up his laptop and got up addressing his team via his comms unit.
“Ok boys, this is going to be harder. I’d say this is a reinforcement run, so we’ll hit those bastards from Sartory hard. Take potshots at the boasts as they come in then head for exfil. Agreed?”
The sniper team clicked twice acknowledging in the positive and the other who were with Carl just nodded their heads.
“Okay lets get to our forward holding position” so saying Carl and the others headed off to within half a block of the beach.

It took only a couple of minutes to reach their FHP and once there, with Philipe and Simon on overwatch, Carl once again accessed the laptop. By now both his various groups could hear the low droning sound of the MPA, Andre and Jules could also see some of the GIGN team looking up at the overcast skies. Accessing the mission control software Carl could see mission ready lights glowing a nice green for his tow sniper groups and the MPA. On the FLIR feed he could see both anchors being dropped on the freighter and almost immediately a SMS message came on the screen reporting the same from the MPA mission controller.

Carl radio’d his men in the apartment building.
“Two minutes, Rapide Prime out”
Carl and his team made last minute checks to their equipment as the mission clock counted down. Carl closed up the case as the timer was linked to his watch. They were ready to go.

30 seconds…

20 seconds….

10 seconds…

Over at the Casino the GIGN sniper stretched his back slightly looking upwards to see if he could see what plane was above the town. It just made Alan’s job that much easier

5 seconds…
4,3,2,1, Zero.
Carl radioied
“Rapide 3 shoot”
He counted to five then,
“Rapide 2 shoot”

Alan had already put himself fully into position as soon as the other sniper started to move slightly so the time it took from receiving the order to shoot and him squeezing the trigger of the McMillan was measured in half a heartbeat. The boom of the .50 calibre rifle could be heard all along the sea front however the heavy match grade round reached its target well before the noise of the shot reached the Casino. Because the snipers back was already arched the bullet flung him like a rag doll against the side of the building the bullet was only slightly slowed by the man’s body armour and it punched right through wall behind him finally dropping to the floor a few meters into the casino.

Alan waited a few moments to check that his target was dead before switching positions to be able to view the freighter. It was two kilometres away in the channel which runs parallel to the beach. Alan switched magazines and slid one loaded with HE-I rounds into the magazine well. Through the scope he could see four boats being lowered on either side and a crowd of people waited to descend ladders already in place to board the smaller vessels. To start with he began to shoot at the freighters bridge planning to move to the small boast once they were crewed and heading inshore. Just before he took his first shot he could see through his ‘scope the Atlantique MPA drop from the cloud cover and head towards the freighter.

In the apartment below Jules and Andre acted as soon as they were given the order. Jules took down the two men who were on watch within 10 seconds. In the same time Andre had fired the first thermobaric grenade popped the action of the grenade launcher loaded the second and just fired it off as the second watchman died. The noise of the .338 Hecate rifle was much louder than that of the M203 and so neither man heard the connecting door to the other apartment open, a door they’d pretty much missed in their brief search of the apartment.

The thermobaric rounds basically flattened the beach hut café that the GIGN men had hidden in, blowing out the flimsy walls causing the roof to pancake on the floor boards. However at least four men were leaving as the first rounds hit. All hit the ground and started to fire up at the surrounding buildings not quite sure where the incoming fire was coming from.

As soon as he had given the ‘go’ order Carl and his team ran towards the sea front. The sea wall that ran alongside the esplanade would give them very good cover and it was imperative that none of the OPFOR reached it. Running hard they made the wall just as the last of Andre’s two HEDP grenades had hit the edge of the ruined building giving the best fragmentation effect.

In the lull provided by the grenades the three RAID operatives could see the four GIGN men clearly against the white sand and so Carl and his men opened up at a distance of no more than 40 meters. The sound of Philippes silenced MP5SD was drowned out by the high pitched cracks of Carls STG 551 and Simons P90. The firefight was short and brutal. But Carl and his team were unaware of what had happened to Andre and Jules.

Jules and Andre had stepped back from their respective windows after Andre’s fourth grenade had been launched as much as to avoid any answering fire form the beach as to avoid inflicting friendly fire on their own troops. Jules sensed rather than saw a presence to his right and he turned seeing an old man in pinstripped pyjamas and a dressing gown hold a triple barrelled shotgun.

The old man screamed
“Bâtards!! you break into my house, my home” and fired one of shotguns barrels the goose-shot slammed into Jules body armour driving him back into the sofa behind him. None of the shot penetrated but he could fell one rib give under the pressure of the shotgun blast. The shotgun rose under the recoil and then the upper barrel roared expelling a massive slug designed for shooting boar. This massive piece of lead had no trouble penetrating Jules neck armour and decapitated the Parisian where he sat. Jules arterial blood sprayed the ceiling as his helmeted head rolled onto the floor.

By the second shot Andre had fully turned and the shock of what he saw froze him in place. In the glow of his PNVG’s Jules blood was like a stream of phosphorous which was drenching his attacker. Andre could see the shotgun start to track in his direction and so fired his grenade launcher…

After he had fired the last HEDP round Andre had replaced the round he had kept in the launcher during the march from the hotel. Instead of firing a HE grenade this munition was like a super-sized shotgun shell.

20 balls of buckshot exited the grenade launcher and as there were only a few meters to travel they had barely spread out before hitting the old man and so tore a hole larger than a mans fist through his stomach, in the process blasting out part of the mans spine before expelling their energy in the wall behind him. The old man was flung backwards but not before his finger pulled on he shotguns trigger. The last shotgun blast though blew the front of a cabinet revealing a number of bottles of wine. Some perished but a good half dozen survived. Chateau Lafite, Jules favourite.

By now it was clear that the MPA was on what looked to be a bombing run.
Awaiting a sitrep from his sniper teams Carl contacted the misson controller aboard Mouette 6.

‘Mouette 6 this is Rapide Prime, what is your intent over”
“Rapide Prime this is Mouette 6 we’re about to deliver a welcome package hope it works! What is your situation over?”
“Mouette 6, OPFOR and sniper support removed.” Carl could hear Alan’s McMillan firing and could see what looked like flames in the freighter bridge
‘We are firing on Mission 1, over”
“Copy that Rapide Prime, Lets see if this idea works eh? Mouette 6 out”

Through Alan’s scope he could see that those on board could tell that the Atlantique was approaching but his shots had caused a fair amount of commotion. He could see that the MPA’s bay doors had opened and just before it overflew the freighter an object flew out and hit the water on the far side of the freighter. Almost immediately there was a massive whoosh and a spout of water flew tens of meters into the air before cascading down on the boat. The freighter itself seemed to shudder in place. As to the smaller boats that were lowered a few minutes before there was no sign.

Alan radioed Carl
‘Chef, I think they just used a depth charge, must have set the depth for only a couple of meters. Looks like they’re coming for another pass.”

Indeed the MPA had banked around the bay and was making another run this time from the landward side of the freighter. By now it seemed someone had got hold of some firearms and a few lines of tracers started to arc towards the MPA. Alan started to return fire almost immediately lessening the feeble AA fire from the freighter. However this time the OWO misjudged and the depth charge landed on the freighters deck cushioned by a few bodies. If there was chaos before now it was absolutely Alan could see people jumping overboard as the depth charge rolled this way and that as the freighter wallowed in the after effects of the first bomb run. The depth charge rolled suddenly though a gap in the landward railings and fell the remaining 10 meters or so to the surface of the sea. As it dropped through the 1.5m mark the charge ignited. The force of the blast obliterated the four boast that were in the water and the concussive force jellified any of the men in the water.

It was then the freighter gave up the ghost. It’s structure was not built with withstand the pressure blows of two sets of military grade explosives on opposing sides and its back began to break. The sound of the hull failing could be heard on the beach as the ship tore itself apart in a foaming sea.

Carl and his men just looked on almost unbelieving at the sight before them. They were still watching the ships dying moments when Alan and a blood spattered Andre reached then. Andre had Jules rifle slung over his back and was carrying a bag.

‘Where’s Jules?”
“The apartment we used was owned by some crazy old wanker, looks like he was sleeping next door. Shot Jules with a boar hunting shotgun, I took him out but Jules, Jules he shot him in the throat…. it was terrible Chef. The funny thing is one of the shots opened up a wine cabinet and there were all these bottle of Lafite, well you know how Jules used to gone on about it so I though we should drink it in his honour when we get back to base.”

He opened up the bag for all to see and there were six bottle of Chateau Lafite 2000.

It was almost too much for Carl. His team was almost destroyed and yet they had found maybe six thousand euros of wine. He didn’t know whether to laugh of cry and the inanity of it all. His composure was saved by Mouette 6 calling in.

“Rapide Prime, Mouette 6 calling, do you copy? Over”
“Roger that Mouette 6, we are down another man. Glad to say your surprise worked well.”
“Copy that Rapide Prime, so are we. We have been advised that we have some Frelons en-route with marines to secure your area. ETA 45 minutes. You will exfil on those choppers.”
‘Copy that Mouette 6, Rapide Prime out”
“Well done Rapide Prime we’ve had a report from Control that they’ve had more intel on that freighter. We’ve stopped something very big. France will be proud..of course only some of it will be but you know what I mean. Mouette 6 out”
Carl had to chuckle at the mission controllers humour and turned to his men.
“The Marines have finally decided to come from their barracks. They’ll be with us shortly. Andre and Alan please stay here. Simon Philippe and I will get our comrades bodies and the other gear. And if we can get it all together maybe we can open one of those bottles before we leave. But one should go to the boys in Mouette 6 as they saved us a lot of grief.”

Alan replied “Chef I think I saw the OPFORs vehicle a SUV in front of the casino so you should be able to use that.”

“Well spotted Alan, I’m getting tired of walking. If I’d wanted to do that all day I’d have joined the infantry!”

Just about an hour later four Navy Super-Frelon helicopters flared down on the beach. Disgorging Marines who came upon the site of five men in black BDU’s sitting next to three shrouded bodies, and drinking out of a bottle of Vintage wine.


  1. Ta mate, also most of the latter half was written whilst I wasn't well last weekend, did I mention I wasn't well?